A Game-Changer: The DG-16 ruck

This evening I loaded up my Kifaru Crew Cab (no, seriously) as a test of a new way to dock my assault pack, hooked up the dog (great way to test a pack) and went for a few mile hilly walk/hike. 

While doing it, I thought about what else I might change (very little; new stuff works great!), how it was working, and what it was not doing, and why. Naturally, thought of it in the context of the Crossfire and some other stuff I had handled or worn recently. 

 

Up through the early 90s I pined for a really good ascent pack. Not a term heard anymore, the ascent pack came from the Alpine traditions of mountaineering. Later, the Himalayan style guys used version of them for the final 6-ish hour attack on the peak, switching to it after weeks of rucking and basecamping. 

But it started in, AFAIK, the post-war era in the Alps. Some of those guys who had learned mountaineering in their various commando units learned they liked it, and did it recreationally afterwards. They developed new equipment and techniques. One was the ascent pack (you may tell me they started during the war, but I have never seen one). You get all the stuff you need for a day of mountain climbing, and put it on from your car, the train station, or the chalet, and go climb a mountain. Back in time for cheese and wine in a meadow or on the patio afterwards.all  

The fat, square (or ball like) rucksacks of the day were wildly unsuited to this. So they modified, then made new types of packs. In parallel to the rise of the giants-sized awful pack, and before the external frame hiking pack. The ascent pack was a soft bodied, generally fabric/leather pack which was, compared to a typical small rucksack: 

  • Narrower, so the arms are free to move. Still one of my favorite points for any pack. If my elbows bump into the pack, that's a disqualifying offense.
  • Shallower, to avoid snagging, catching the wind, or letting anything be stored too far away from the body, for balance issues. 
  • Taller, to get back that volume you removed, without getting in the way. From waist to top of the shoulder blades is typical. 
  • Contoured, to wrap around the back instead of sitting like a ball on top of it. Generally, with thicker or doubled up leather backings, and later often with actual reinforcements, often lame things like wet molded cardboard, waxed to relatively hold the  shape. Yeah, it's a custom frame sheet. 
  • Attached, with a waist belt (often, at belly height for no good reason I have been able to divine) so it does not just hang off your shoulders, but stays strapped to you regardless of angle or activity. 

 

This all may start to sound familiar. And in fact the closest I ever got to owning something like this was a late-80s Campmor model (a knockoff? I could never tell). Gray and black cordura, it was hilarously similar in size and layout to the RAID. 

Mine had a padded back, sewn-in almost quilted foam, which gave it some rigidity. Mine had ski slots. I used it on multi-day hikes in the Flint Hills, and skiing when we had snow, and so on. Especially when docked (my sewing) to a fannypack to get a more suitable waist belt, it was sensational. 

It was sadly lost, when stored post-college at my parents a cat peed on it and it got into the non-removable foam and that was it. 

 

(I promise I am on topic)

 

But things evolve. The ascent pack disappeared as many generic daypacks, hiking packs, etc. took on the features, such that by the mid-2000s I am in very good outdoors stores and no one of the next generation younger than me even recognizes the term. Everyone now has ice axe loops, but how many day hikers need those? They are an ascent pack feature, as those guys need ice axes at a moment's notice. 

When hiking today, I thought once again about the geometry of a frame pack. My Kifaru runs the way I have always wanted them to: probabilistically. Like the electrons around an atomic nucleus, the pack is near you, somewhere, in a predictable range. They "float" near you, and that's great and a way that makes them very comfy despite the large loads and rough terrain. 

Unless you do something out of the norm. Running, let's say. Then they bounce up and down rather unpleasantly. And if you are walking the dog, or have a slung MG, you cannot sorta hang on to the shoulder straps to calm it down, and suffer instead. 

 

So, evolution. The single digit minutes I had the DG-16 on it felt entirely different from a normal ruck. Certainly from any external frame pack before, but I didn't recognize till now that despite my thinking it's a bit of a hybrid, less like one of those internal frames than like the next evolution of the ascent pack.

A right-sized pack, contoured to your body and firmly attached, that therefore does it's own thing — staying attached to you and not shifting about while you do your thing. A pack that you can ignore, and doesn't move when you hike, climb, rappel, run, etc. 

I will need to do a side-by-side hiking/climb/run/scramble comparison but I think this will pan out. And as much as I want to be a one-pack-for-all-things guy, believe that this as my second pack will be a good thing for mission choice; light and active or heavy and load-adaptable but more straight line. It works. Looking forward to playing more. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Yeah that's a very good description of what I've been experiencing as well.  This "live load" concept.  I just hadn't linked it to climbers, although I shoulda.  The weight is more balanced, and works as a part of you, rather than shifting around as your situation changes.  Very apt description.

I am now going to go ahead and get the DG-16 bag as well, because I think to get the full measure of this, you need the whole system.  

I can't wait to talk to the design and production guys about this thing.   This stuff fascinates me, obviously, and I want to learn more about it. 

On the ascent bag, yeah, that's pretty much it.  The slim contour also does a couple more things.  It allows the arm swing for cross country skiing, and it keeps the pack from "weather-vaning" in really high winds.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

And BTW, I don't mind talking about pussy, red heads in particular, just busting your balls.  It's funny we were sitting around at Starbucks after run club the other day and one of the gal's sons happens to be in bootcamp right now.  So two of us jarheads got to talking about these things.  Someone commented you two could never withstand a SCOTUS background check.  I said damn straight, that's just the tip of the iceberg.    

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

shoobe01 posted:

This evening I loaded up my Kifaru Crew Cab ... and went for a few mile hilly walk/hike. 

While doing it, I thought about what else I might change (very little; new stuff works great!), how it was working, and what it was not doing, and why. Naturally, thought of it in the context of the Crossfire and some other stuff I had handled or worn recently.  

Up through the early 90s I pined for a really good ascent pack. Not a term heard anymore, the ascent pack came from the Alpine traditions of mountaineering. Later, the Himalayan style guys used version of them for the final 6-ish hour attack on the peak, switching to it after weeks of rucking and basecamping. 

But it started in, AFAIK, the post-war era in the Alps. Some of those guys who had learned mountaineering in their various commando units learned they liked it, and did it recreationally afterwards. They developed new equipment and techniques. One was the ascent pack (you may tell me they started during the war, but I have never seen one). You get all the stuff you need for a day of mountain climbing, and put it on from your car, the train station, or the chalet, and go climb a mountain. Back in time for cheese and wine in a meadow or on the patio afterwards.all  

The fat, square (or ball like) rucksacks of the day were wildly unsuited to this. So they modified, then made new types of packs. In parallel to the rise of the giants-sized awful pack, and before the external frame hiking pack. The ascent pack was a soft bodied, generally fabric/leather pack which was, compared to a typical small rucksack: 

  • Narrower, so the arms are free to move. Still one of my favorite points for any pack. If my elbows bump into the pack, that's a disqualifying offense.
  • Shallower, to avoid snagging, catching the wind, or letting anything be stored too far away from the body, for balance issues. 
  • Taller, to get back that volume you removed, without getting in the way. From waist to top of the shoulder blades is typical. 
  • Contoured, to wrap around the back instead of sitting like a ball on top of it. Generally, with thicker or doubled up leather backings, and later often with actual reinforcements, often lame things like wet molded cardboard, waxed to relatively hold the  shape. Yeah, it's a custom frame sheet. 
  • Attached, with a waist belt (often, at belly height for no good reason I have been able to divine) so it does not just hang off your shoulders, but stays strapped to you regardless of angle or activity. 

 

This all may start to sound familiar...similar in size and layout to the RAID. 

Mine had a padded back, sewn-in almost quilted foam, which gave it some rigidity. Mine had ski slots. I used it on multi-day hikes in the Flint Hills, and skiing when we had snow, and so on. Especially when docked (my sewing) to a fannypack to get a more suitable waist belt, it was sensational. 

But things evolve. The ascent pack disappeared as many generic daypacks, hiking packs, etc. took on the features, such that by the mid-2000s I am in very good outdoors stores and no one of the next generation younger than me even recognizes the term. Everyone now has ice axe loops, but how many day hikers need those? They are an ascent pack feature, as those guys need ice axes at a moment's notice. 

When hiking today, I thought once again about the geometry of a frame pack. My Kifaru runs the way I have always wanted them to: probabilistically. Like the electrons around an atomic nucleus, the pack is near you, somewhere, in a predictable range. They "float" near you, and that's great and a way that makes them very comfy despite the large loads and rough terrain. 

Unless you do something out of the norm. Running, let's say. Then they bounce up and down rather unpleasantly. And if you are walking the dog, or have a slung MG, you cannot sorta hang on to the shoulder straps to calm it down, and suffer instead. 

 So, evolution. The single digit minutes I had the DG-16 on it felt entirely different from a normal ruck. Certainly from any external frame pack before, but I didn't recognize till now that despite my thinking it's a bit of a hybrid, less like one of those internal frames than like the next evolution of the ascent pack.

A right-sized pack, contoured to your body and firmly attached, that therefore does it's own thing — staying attached to you and not shifting about while you do your thing. A pack that you can ignore, and doesn't move when you hike, climb, rappel, run, etc. 

I will need to do a side-by-side hiking/climb/run/scramble comparison but I think this will pan out. And as much as I want to be a one-pack-for-all-things guy, believe that this as my second pack will be a good thing for mission choice; light and active or heavy and load-adaptable but more straight line. It works. Looking forward to playing more. 

My feeble dinosaur brain seems to remember that the ascent aspect came from the fact they were designed for technical nut, chock, and piton vertical mountain face climbing.  They couldn't be too bulky, act like a sail in winds, throw you off-balance with wild center-of-gravity swings, restrict arm movement, or the ability to raise your head to see path ahead and your lead climber / upper belay..

The high belly-band was to clear your "Diaper" harness for snapping in to your fall protection line and still allow you to get to your hammer, snap links, rosin bag, and other protection (more chocks, bongs, hexes, pitons, etc.).

They were just big enough for water, some chow (perhaps a stove), maybe rain protection or a sweater, and if staying overnight sleep gear (like a 'cho liner and a hammock).

Related image

There you go.

On another note, here's some more pics of the frame.  Here is where I have added ladder locks to the bottom of the harness and adjusted it all the way down for a belt kit.

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Notice how far the harness is adjusted down, and the angle to the top loaders.

Here is the top loader reversed rigged through the frame.

And the front view.  Notice I also replaced hardware to allow stab strap, with rolled and sewn ends, to come out of wider slots.  If it falls off or blows up and I will let you know.    

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Sinister posted:
shoobe01 posted:

 

[lots of stuff]

... The high belly-band was to clear your "Diaper" harness for snapping in to your fall protection line and still allow you to get to your hammer, snap links, rosin bag, and other protection (more chocks, bongs, hexes, pitons, etc.)...

Related image

I have long lived by the edict that everything is slightly more complex than you think. Everything. Recursively. As deep as you go, there's more.

So, here: I was technical-adjacent, but only did rope work as training, and a few short things for funsies. Never with, say, a pack on so I didn't notice the now-obvious deconflicting of gear. Duh. Just like we're now doing with ruck vs LBE. 

The style of pack definitely started with late-40s Alpinists (or maybe had roots earlier, as there were a few crazy inter-war period folks who taught all those commando teams how to mountaineer), but I bet there's a bit more to the story and they were highly revised or all but re-invented again when Chouinard et all basically entirely re-defined technical climbing. 

P. S. Awesome photo generally, but also maybe the best example of how the packs I mean evolved into tech fabrics etc. Good one. 

 

Diz posted:

...and the angle to the top loaders.

I did get mine adjusted over the top, but lacking a way to load it well, haven't tried. Suspect I will like it as whenever I could I have put the load lifters way higher than anyone else. My Kifaru-ish is a 26" frame, and I have anchored the load lifters to almost the very top, so they are more vertical than 45°. It works for me. 

I note you also tied cord for releases. I am gonna do that as well, though with heat shrink instead of duct tape, when I get to final configuring. It helps, especially in the cold. My last pack I had also sewn some different materials so I could feel for things (dark, cold, gloves, etc) and pull the right strap the right time. My load lifters, for example, ended in small loops of 1" binding tape. So, gonna do all those sorts of minor customizations to it once I am pretty sure it's otherwise set right. 

 

Diz posted:

 

...Notice I also replaced hardware to allow stab strap, with rolled and sewn ends, to come out of wider slots.  If it falls off or blows up and I will let you know...

Nope, not following that. What did you replace or add that I'm not seeing? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

 The actual replacement was USMC style CB webbing, with a beefed up ladderlock, with wider slots to allow the stab straps (with rolled and sewn ends) to pass through.  I like their hardware but the slots are a tad narrow for a double fold to pass through.  So I made all new stab straps so I could take various bags on and off the frame.

Yeah you bring up some good finer points.  I have started using different length rolled ends to differentiate between stab straps, main lift straps, sternum strap.  The tape trick sounds like a good idea.  And yeah when I'm done fucking around, shrink wrap the cord.     

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Oh! You sewed the replacements so well I didn't notice. Cool idea.

FWIW: I just stuck the ends in a vise and squished them (after the first hour of messing with it). That, and silicone (nothing comes lubed enough, from frames to battery doors), made it pretty easy to use the original hardware after all. 

The squishing is invisible. No damage or anything, such that I wonder if they work when just sewn, but puff up a few thousands later and by the time we get them they are impossible to pass through without tools. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Diz posted:

There you go.

On another note, here's some more pics of the frame.  Here is where I have added ladder locks to the bottom of the harness and adjusted it all the way down for a belt kit.

This picture really shows off how much that frame can be adjusted for a variety of changes. 

That's some awesome thinking going into the design ahead of time. 

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

Yeah these guys did their homework.   Notice how the harness base is basically an "X" pattern, versus the straight drop rectangle normally seen in this app.  So essentially you have a cross "X" tensioning system, which applies tension across the frame.  This will also act as a cradle for your back plate.  Although I don't like wearing BA with rucks, if you have to, this system is superior to rucks with just bolsters on the sides.

The "diamond" is not under tension, but set with Velcro.  I think it's there to support the back plate but will confirm that.  

Also notice pins that secure the hip belt.  The hip belt is rigidly attached to frame, with zero wiggle.  

Yeah the stock top loader straps have an extra layer in them, which make them bomb proof for normal use.  I think you may be on to something by pre-compressing them for removal.   Maybe in the field some vice grips would work.   

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

shoobe01 posted:

This evening I loaded up my Kifaru Crew Cab (no, seriously) as a test of a new way to dock my assault pack, hooked up the dog (great way to test a pack) and went for a few mile hilly walk/hike. 

While doing it, I thought about what else I might change (very little; new stuff works great!), how it was working, and what it was not doing, and why. Naturally, thought of it in the context of the Crossfire and some other stuff I had handled or worn recently. 

 

Up through the early 90s I pined for a really good ascent pack. Not a term heard anymore, the ascent pack came from the Alpine traditions of mountaineering. Later, the Himalayan style guys used version of them for the final 6-ish hour attack on the peak, switching to it after weeks of rucking and basecamping. 

But it started in, AFAIK, the post-war era in the Alps. Some of those guys who had learned mountaineering in their various commando units learned they liked it, and did it recreationally afterwards. They developed new equipment and techniques. One was the ascent pack (you may tell me they started during the war, but I have never seen one). You get all the stuff you need for a day of mountain climbing, and put it on from your car, the train station, or the chalet, and go climb a mountain. Back in time for cheese and wine in a meadow or on the patio afterwards.all  

The fat, square (or ball like) rucksacks of the day were wildly unsuited to this. So they modified, then made new types of packs. In parallel to the rise of the giants-sized awful pack, and before the external frame hiking pack. The ascent pack was a soft bodied, generally fabric/leather pack which was, compared to a typical small rucksack: 

  • Narrower, so the arms are free to move. Still one of my favorite points for any pack. If my elbows bump into the pack, that's a disqualifying offense.
  • Shallower, to avoid snagging, catching the wind, or letting anything be stored too far away from the body, for balance issues. 
  • Taller, to get back that volume you removed, without getting in the way. From waist to top of the shoulder blades is typical. 
  • Contoured, to wrap around the back instead of sitting like a ball on top of it. Generally, with thicker or doubled up leather backings, and later often with actual reinforcements, often lame things like wet molded cardboard, waxed to relatively hold the  shape. Yeah, it's a custom frame sheet. 
  • Attached, with a waist belt (often, at belly height for no good reason I have been able to divine) so it does not just hang off your shoulders, but stays strapped to you regardless of angle or activity. 

 

This all may start to sound familiar. And in fact the closest I ever got to owning something like this was a late-80s Campmor model (a knockoff? I could never tell). Gray and black cordura, it was hilarously similar in size and layout to the RAID. 

Mine had a padded back, sewn-in almost quilted foam, which gave it some rigidity. Mine had ski slots. I used it on multi-day hikes in the Flint Hills, and skiing when we had snow, and so on. Especially when docked (my sewing) to a fannypack to get a more suitable waist belt, it was sensational. 

It was sadly lost, when stored post-college at my parents a cat peed on it and it got into the non-removable foam and that was it. 

 

(I promise I am on topic)

 

But things evolve. The ascent pack disappeared as many generic daypacks, hiking packs, etc. took on the features, such that by the mid-2000s I am in very good outdoors stores and no one of the next generation younger than me even recognizes the term. Everyone now has ice axe loops, but how many day hikers need those? They are an ascent pack feature, as those guys need ice axes at a moment's notice. 

When hiking today, I thought once again about the geometry of a frame pack. My Kifaru runs the way I have always wanted them to: probabilistically. Like the electrons around an atomic nucleus, the pack is near you, somewhere, in a predictable range. They "float" near you, and that's great and a way that makes them very comfy despite the large loads and rough terrain. 

Unless you do something out of the norm. Running, let's say. Then they bounce up and down rather unpleasantly. And if you are walking the dog, or have a slung MG, you cannot sorta hang on to the shoulder straps to calm it down, and suffer instead. 

 

So, evolution. The single digit minutes I had the DG-16 on it felt entirely different from a normal ruck. Certainly from any external frame pack before, but I didn't recognize till now that despite my thinking it's a bit of a hybrid, less like one of those internal frames than like the next evolution of the ascent pack.

A right-sized pack, contoured to your body and firmly attached, that therefore does it's own thing — staying attached to you and not shifting about while you do your thing. A pack that you can ignore, and doesn't move when you hike, climb, rappel, run, etc. 

I will need to do a side-by-side hiking/climb/run/scramble comparison but I think this will pan out. And as much as I want to be a one-pack-for-all-things guy, believe that this as my second pack will be a good thing for mission choice; light and active or heavy and load-adaptable but more straight line. It works. Looking forward to playing more. 

Now you’re starting to understand the Crossfire design philosophy mate

=======================
Forward!
Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

  

Location: Back in Bris-Vegas, wondering at the bright lights of the big smoke

Well, like you said, I'm glad there's someone else who is seeing this.  

We have been called to task for gobbing on about this ruck at LF before more guys are using them and it has a proven record or whatever.  But how the fuck is that going to happen unless we tell more people about it and get the word out.  

Granted the warfighters need to deploy with good kit; LEOs also need good stuff.  And I would submit "preppers" need the same.  But Crossfire has made such a good ruck that it needs to be talked about.  As opposed to our governments, who have issued us crap gear, made by the lowest bidder.  

Guys like my buddy, let's call him SF dude, and Running Wolf have R&D a lot of stuff on deployments.  This is how all this stuff has evolved.  

Here you have one of the best military rucks I've ever seen, and hardly anyone knows about it.  This is usually one of those gems you never hear about, unless you cross train with other forces, in this case Australia.  But now, we have the opportunity to hear about different things, and for those with an open mind, try something different.  I swear, some guys will never use anything unless they see DevGru sporting it on a some TV show.       

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Diz,
I don't know who is spouting off to you.  Frankly, they don't matter. LF has always been for the guys who are ahead of the herd in many ways.  So it stands to reason that there will be ongoing reviews of products which are also ahead of the herd, and just barely available in the market.

Ignore the braying jackasses and carry on.

I can remember when only a handful of guys here had RAIDs... It did not stop the reviews and tech advice.  The same goes for a lot of things- 6.8 SPC, NVG, some different and novel TTP, etc. This place (and a select few others) is where the future happens first.

Yeah the RAID was a ground-breaking pack, huh?  Brad hit that one out of the park.  I have always thought LF was on the cutting edge of things.  When I made my first design, based on the Brit Bergen, Brad was the first person to show interest in it.  Unfortunately I did not have the knowledge or resources to produce it, but that started a relationship with LF that continues to this day.  We took the Hellcat from SOTech and the bungee top from TT and made new chest rigs with it.  They became pretty much the standard throughout the industry.  SOTech made the Falcon for the 82d, and I continued to make custom chest rigs for many years.  This was all done through, by, with LF.  

Every initiative started with a small group of folks.  It then spread throughout the community.  I guess you have to determine what your comfort level is in trying new stuff.  And I guess it helps if you know the guys involved and/or have used their kit before.  Some of us are surfing the cutting edge.  Others are waiting for tried and true.  Hey I get that.    

You have  a small nucleus of guys gobbing off (thanks Hussar) about some kit here.  Unfortunately we no longer have the brick and mortar LF stores we used to gather at and show the guys the new stuff like this.  So here we are on this forum trying rekindle that spirit from back in the day.  Without the beer, or... never mind.          

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

You know, I completely missed your Hellcat mods and since you first re-mentioned it a few weeks back have been unable to find any. Since I still have one I mess with, can you point out any links back to this stuff anywhere? 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Oh man you're asking the wrong guy for tech help!  But try some of the old stuff at the usual suspects (M4, 10-8, etc).  I don't know if they archive all that stuff from like 04, 05, 06, but that would be the time frame.  

The two top rigs I mod'd were the SOTech Hellcat, and the Eagle Universal or "Paul Howe" chest rigs.  Maybe searching them up would lead to old threads.  

I still have the hard drives with pics from past 'puters and some day will down load all those old pics.   

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Do good backup. I try, and have still lost way, way too much of my old stuff. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

So I have a little bit of time under my DG-16 frameset with a Mystery Ranch Mountain Ruck modded to fit.  

As a frame of reference, I have used the Kifaru AG2 that was fitted at the shop while wearing my LBT 6094 and a NICE Frame Mountain Ruck.  I used both of these in the Arghandab some years ago.  I would like to think I am decently versed in the use of various kit.  As for issue packs, I did the modded-by-General Jacksons Large ALICE back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and have had most of the issue bags since, to include the unfortunate CFP-90.

I think this is a good frameset.  A very good frameset.  I am not seeing what may be the full benefit as I am using the MR Mountain Ruck top sleeve to mount it at the top.  I anxiously await the MC DG-16 bag so I can experience the true full-value of tab attachment.  I imagine it will be superior to the tab-attached bags I have worn.

The frameset does move with you, as mentioned by Diz and others.  It is exquisitely constructed and obviously well thought-out.  

I do not feel that the load lifters will do what load lifters do on longer framesets.  It's just a math problem.  The NICE suffers from the same issue without Onieros Valley extensions or the MR lift kit.  The only bag I've used at work that had a frame tall enough to really use load lifters is the Kifaru.  Having said that, I moved from the AG2 to a NICE Mountain Ruck during a deployment and found the MR to suit my needs better.  The Kifaru did not integrate with my kit the way I would have hoped and the bag did not work for our mission set.  Part of this is likely a preference for the big bag-of-bags that the ALICE shape can provide.  The draping suspension of the Kifaru, while excellent, was not what I needed in that time and place.

The DG-16 frameset works as well as most any other bag with armor.  I've tried it with an AVS (with chassis) and an MBAV.  It sucks, but not as much as a Large or Medium MOLLE.  I find it to be less stable than either the NICE BVS or Kifaru Armor Grip, but not by much.  My BVS is the old one so I don't know how the removable foam pads do.

I'm 5'10" on a good day and I think this frame is just about right for me.  I would be interested to hear how six-foot-plus folks feel about it.  The adjustments seem to accommodate for such, but I am a bit doubtful. 

For a work setup I think it is really suitable.  As of today, I would choose it over anything I have yet used, understanding what it is.  This is not a tall frame and I would suggest that potential purchasers approach this knowing that.

You can do a lot of good things with a short frame, as the ALICE has shown (or not shown, depending on your point of view).  There are things that a 20-ish inch frame just won't do well.  I don't care who made it or what it's made of.  Some of those we are asked to do as Soldiers.  I think this one would suck less.

I agree that this frameset would be magnificent with the use of belt order.  I am also fairly convinced that the General Purpose Force will not be adopting such load-bearing kit any time soon.  I am a believer in blast radius, and there are folks out there who can affect and allow change within their blast radius, but I know that most Soldiers will be turtled-up until we realize that 1. a BDE of rockets on your position doesn't care about your plates, or 2. the jungle is really, really unpleasant and the lads die from heat stroke.  I will likely be retired for many years before either realization occurs.

This is a solid product in my opinion and I will recommend it to anyone who asks me, but I will be clear about what it is.

 

 

Joined: 9/1/2004          Location: West Texas. Far west, to be exact.

Very good synopsis of things.  I agree with you on your conclusions, in that rucking for military applications just sucks because of the type of crap we have to carry.  But, a good frameset, such as this one, can mitigate the suck factor quite a bit.  It doesn't magically remove all misery, but it does make it much more manageable.  So yeah, within the framework of rucking for military applications, which for those of us who have a choice about it, might mean we chose a short back ruck, with a belt kit.  Given that you need some way of integrating a fighting load out with a full sized pack.

Now, if you want to compare it to say a civvy hunting pack, which can now be long back, with full hip belt, and have functioning top/bottom load stab straps, then yeah, it is definitely inferior.  But within the context of a light infantry load out, this new frameset is quite good.  That's a very good point, which may be lost on some.

I have just now gotten my hands on the bags as well.  I now have a complete DG-16 set up, as well as the new DG-3.  The DG-16 is comparable to the Large ALICE, Molle Large, or FILBE.  The DG-3 is comparable to the Medium ALICE, or MR 3-day Assault/Overload.  The DG-3 also has a smaller frame, which may work better for some, for a short back with belt kit.

So to Croz's point, a short back frame has it's place, and in this case, I think I've found the best one(s) out there.  The DG-3 (18" frame) will work better for guys in the 5'9"-5'11" range, with the DG-16 (20" frame) for those guys 5'11" and above.

And yes, they are ramping up for OCP production.  I have one of the first DG-3's in OCP, with the DG-16's soon to follow.

Testing also to follow.  

 

    

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Some thoughts.  The DG-16 frameset would make an excellent replacement for the current Jarhead frame.  If I had anything to do with it, I'd send a batch over to Norway right now for testing.  We know the current frame has issues with weakness, especially in extreme cold.  I have humped the FILBE on this frame and it works extremely well.  It would be a simple matter to add additional "Yib Yab" tabs (dunno why they call them that) to follow-on production runs (or for riggers in the field).

It would also appear to work well on at least the MR Mountain ruck, and probably others, like then 6500 and Overload series.  The NICE frame has also had issues with not being supportive enough with heavier loads. Croz has humped the Mountain ruck and had similar results to me. 

I'd say you're getting the majority of the improvement with these other bags, even if you don't have all the attachment points.   But I will be humping the Crossfire bags and see what kind of improvement that offers.  I'm guessing there will be some, enough for me to modify the other bags, if that's the system I wanted to run.  I don't think it would be too hard to add some additional tabs.  Probably just box "X" them in place, on the back wall, versus opening up the seams.  

On top sleeves.  I don't think you are giving anything away here, versus the "jock strap" of the Crossfire bags.  Within the context of what we're doing, that is, rigging the bag into the perimeter of the frame, versus just hanging it on there; it's just a cosmetic difference.  As long as you can access the middle load strap slots, you should be GTG.  It's a squeeze on the ALICE, but a good fit on the FILBE.  I'm guessing the MR is ok too?  I think for most guys the outboard slots are gonna be too wide.  But be advised the top sleeves on the Jarhead ruck will typically wear on the corners, so maybe glue in a patch beforehand?

So yeah, within the context of a short back military ruck, the DG-16 frameset is a real game-changer.  But as Croz has pointed out, you need to understand what that is, and what it isn't.  If you have decided that a short back, external frame ruck is the way you want to go, then this frameset, regardless of bag choice, is the best frame I have seen, by far.  

As far as bag choice goes.  If you use solid coyote brown, the FILBE bag is a steal.  A little big and bulky but totally workable.   MR can be had in CB or MC, not to mention a variety of different sizes.  If I was issued one, I'd upgrade with this frame.  But a little pricey if you have to buy it yourself.  ALICE: issue, TT, LBT, etc., it will work, after-market better than issue (because of sleeve size); OD, CB, or MC.  Issue is cheap, after-market, not so much.  So unless you get an ALICE or FILBE for around 50 bucks, the Crossfire bag, in CB or OCP, is giving you the best value for the money.           

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

So had a “field trip “ get me off course but back up and going. Wrapped up another 5k, nothing crazy just a moderate pace but bumped up to 35 pounds (still on the slow part of my build up but had to basically take a month off due to work). 

Frame remains comfortable, did run into one issue but it is minor and due more to the pack than the frame. Due to the pack being modified from its original use in a ALICE it still uses a sleeve and the two straps from the shoulder straps that go through the frame are thus forced to be fairly close, this is causing them to occasionally slightly rub my neck. Not a deal breaker as the pack itself is dang near perfect for my needs.

Need longer miles on my rucks to get better input but the program I’m on is taking it slow, it’s for injury prevention I know but these 30 minute or less rucks are a tease compared to what I’m usually doing, heck I bumped the weight up and this one only lasted 24 minutes.

Yeah you know when you get back we'll either shit-can that sleeve or get a Crossfire bag for ya.  

I think in the end, getting rid of the sleeve is gonna be the way to go.  Not that big of a mod really.  If you take a stock bag and put tabs on it, adding two more on top ain't gonna be no big deal; I think Crossfire could drop the "jockstrap" and just use tabs, all around.  Once you get over the fact that you don't need a sleeve anymore, it gives you access to the whole top of the frame, so the load stabs can be customized away from said neck.  I'll have to do a mod on a FILBE or maybe even a Large Molle.  

What I really like is the bottom being tied in tight to the frame now.  Getting a good solid vertical pull, from top to bottom seems to make a big difference in stability.  I was "tabbing" the other day and when my shadow was out front, I could see a slight "sway" from side to side as I ran.  The pack was like in sync with me on my back; without excessive movement; just right.   

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Yea it was basically a non issue once I got moving as I didn’t notice it, was only as I was initially walking to my start point so probably was making a deal out of nothing. I do have a habit of bringing up EVERYTHING when I’m dropping any kinda feedback though (good/ bad/ random ) so there is that.

Diz posted:

...we'll either shit-can that sleeve or get a Crossfire bag for ya.  

I think in the end, getting rid of the sleeve is gonna be the way to go.  Not that big of a mod really.  If you take a stock bag and put tabs on it, adding two more on top ain't gonna be no big deal; I think Crossfire could drop the "jockstrap" and just use tabs, all around.  Once you get over the fact that you don't need a sleeve anymore, it gives you access to the whole top of the frame, so the load stabs can be customized away from said neck.  I'll have to do a mod on a FILBE or maybe even a Large Molle.  

What I really like is the bottom being tied in tight to the frame now.  Getting a good solid vertical pull, from top to bottom seems to make a big difference in stability.  I was "tabbing" the other day and when my shadow was out front, I could see a slight "sway" from side to side as I ran.  The pack was like in sync with me on my back; without excessive movement; just right.   

At the top, once you've removed the sleeve you could use two metal loops (like on the ALICE or lightweight jungle ruck) rather than a few more yib-yabs.  With medium ALICE I just routed the lower back straps through the slots in the bottom of the ALICE frame and it cut down on left-right sway.

It's not a bad sway; in fact it's kinda in sync with your momentum.  The internal is usually too soft and flexes too much; the external is too stiff and doesn't flex at all.  A Crossfire frame hits it just right.  

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Add Reply

Likes (10)
KikoM1AVonBeren412mohicanbeardogyakc130treehopr22FLinzchrisletch
Copyright Lightfighter Tactical Forum 2002-2016
×
×
×
×
×